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Thursday 29th July 2021

Asia

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that any person who commits rape is “solely responsible” for the crime and it is never the victim’s fault. He said this after he was criticised for blaming a rise in sexual assault cases on how women dress. Pakistani women activists and rights campaigners accused Prime Minister Khan of “victim-blaming”. Khan said his comments were “completely taken out of context”. He said he would never say such “a stupid thing” that a person who was raped is responsible for the crime.

In Australia, it was announced yesterday that Sydney’s lockdown will be extended by another month. This is as Covid cases continue to rise. Australia's largest city has been under stay-at-home orders since late June due to an outbreak of the Delta variant. More than 2,500 people have been infected in Sydney's worst outbreak this year. New South Wales - of which Sydney is the capital - reported at least 177 new cases yesterday. This is the most in a day since March 2020. Victoria and South Australia both came out of lockdowns yesterday.


Europe

In the UK, People who were fully vaccinated in the EU or US will not need to isolate when coming to England, Scotland and Wales from an amber list country. The change will be made on Monday. Currently, only people who received their jabs in the UK can avoid quarantine when arriving from amber list countries, except France. The UK government said the rule change would help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would apply to people who have been fully vaccinated with a jab approved by the EU or US.

GS: "Of course with the UK vaccination program, you're able to demonstrate your vaccine status very easily. The full NHS app, that's not the Covid app I should now point out. it's the regular NHS app, contains your record for your vaccines. So, once you've been fully vaccinated it effectively gives you a certificate which you can show on screen or download. So it's easy for us to be able to use that in order to demonstrate the status for somebody returning home."


In Bosnia, Bosnian Serbs have reacted angrily to a ban on genocide denial. UN-appointed High Representative Valentin Inzko said the ban was needed to stop the celebration of war criminals. Last month, when a Bosnian Serb wartime leader, Ratko Mladic, was convicted for genocide, many Serb leaders were still calling him a hero. The UN's Mr Inzko, said he had to make legal changes to stop this.

Americas

In the United States, the company that made a gun used in one of the worst school shootings has offered $33m (£24m) to several victims' families. The plan to repay families from the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was made during a bankruptcy hearing for Remington, America's oldest gun-maker. It also comes after a lawsuit was brought by families of nine of the 26 victims. Each family would receive around $3.6m.


In Cuba, the foreign secretary yesterday released security videos of petrol bombs being thrown at the Cuban embassy in Paris, France. Three petrol bombs were thrown by two unnamed individuals, Cuba's Paris embassy said in a statement yesterday. France's foreign ministry has condemned the attack and says it's investigating who is responsible.

Africa

In Tanzania, people are being encouraged to get Covid-19 vaccinations in a dramatic change of policy. A vaccination drive has begun after Tanzania rejected its former president's Covid criticism. Leading the campaign is the new Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who just got her jab. The man she replaced, John Magufuli, said the virus wasn’t serious. Magufuli asked for prayers instead of vaccines and masks. After he died in March of heart complications, Ms Samia set up a task force on coronavirus. Officially, out of the 58 million people, Tanzania has only recorded 29 deaths with coronavirus. There are fears the true numbers are greater.


In Kenya, thousands of girls who have dropped out of school are getting a second chance at education. This will be through "catch-up" centres. These are classrooms where out-of-school girls aged between 10 and 19 years can join and graduate after six to nine months. The centres were created by several non-government organisations and have been set up in five out of Kenya’s 47 counties. They are especially meant for girls in regions where cases of teenage pregnancy and child marriage are high. The lessons run for half a day and allow students, the majority of whom are mothers, to come to school with their babies.


And finally, a court in the US has announced that a rare ancient artefact, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, was taken in by authorities. The 3,500-year-old tablet, from what is now Iraq, has text from the Epic of Gilgamesh - one of the world's oldest pieces of writing. The rare item was bought to be put on display at the Museum of the Bible.


And that’s your Simple English world news for today. You can find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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